Q & A with Murray Reed, Chief Technology Officer of Gooch & Housego





Venturefest South West, a flagship event for innovators, entrepreneurs and investors in the technology sector, is focusing on a range of sectors including the newly emerging photonics industry. A key photonics session at the event at Sandy Park on 18th October looks at the strength of the South West’s most innovative hi-tech photonics companies and the impact of their latest cutting edge technology.

Murray Reed, Chief Technology Officer of Gooch & Housego will talk about how photonics has changed our lives in the last 5 years and how it will evolve in the next ten.

We asked him a few questions:

• What does your work involve?

Gooch & Housego is a UK company who develop and manufacture optical and fiber optical products for many different commercial end uses. As Chief Technical Officer of G&H I lead the new product development across the company, which means at four sites in the UK and 5 sites in the USA.

• What problem does your innovation solve?

G&H is a photonics technology business headquartered in Ilminster with operations in the UK and USA and sales all over the world. We manufacture advanced optical products for applications in industrial and medical lasers, telecommunications, semiconductors & microelectronics, aerospace & defence and the life sciences. We offer a really broad range of different optical components, things like precision polished prisms and mirrors and high reliability fiber-optic cables, and also put these all parts together with mechanics and electronics to make complete photonic systems.

• How did you obtain investors for your own venture?

G&H is publicly traded on AIM.

• What would say are the three key elements for starting and running a successful technology business?

- Have a highly skilled, motivated and results oriented team.
- Deliver a product with significant value to your customers.
- Have a plan for new technology to drive growth.

• What three pieces of advice would you give to anyone who wants to attract investors?

- Have as short a pitch as possible that anyone can understand.
- Develop a very complete and well thought out business plan.
- Get the best help you can and use your whole team to sell the plan.

• What has been your most satisfying moment in business?

I got a lot of satisfaction when we took our start-up New Focus public.

• Excluding yours, what company or business do you admire the most?

Google.

• Where do you see yourself and your business in 10 years?

Unrecognizable.

• What do you think would surprise people most about your industry?

How many women engineers are part of photonics.

Venturefest South West on 18th October 2016 at Sandy Park, Exeter is now fully booked. If you have not registered and would like to attend please visit www.venturefest-sw.co.uk and add your details to the waiting list. You will be notified if a place becomes available.